from the what-the-market-will-bear dept.
Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:
A quiet revolution is sweeping the $20 billion academic publishing market and its main operator Elsevier, partly driven by an unlikely group of rebels: cash-strapped librarians.
When Florida State University cancelled its “big deal” contract for all Elsevier’s 2,500 journals last March to save money, the publisher warned it would backfire and cost the library $1 million extra in pay-per-view fees.
But even to the surprise of Gale Etschmaier, dean of FSU’s library, the charges after eight months were actually less than $20,000. “Elsevier has not come back to us about ‘the big deal’,” she said, noting it had made up a quarter of her content budget before the terms were changed.
Mutinous librarians such as Ms. Etschmaier remain in a minority but are one of a host of pressures bearing down on the subscription business of Elsevier, the 140-year-old publisher that produces titles including the world’s oldest medical journal, The Lancet.
The company is facing a profound shift in the way it does business, as customers reject traditional charging structures.
Two years after a high-profile falling out, the University of California (UC) system and the academic publishing giant Elsevier have patched up differences and agreed on what will be the largest deal for open-access publishing in scholarly journals in North America. The deal is also the world's first such contract that includes Elsevier's highly selective flagship journals Cell and The Lancet.
The deal meets demands made by UC when it suspended negotiations with Elsevier in 2019. It allows UC faculty and students to read articles in almost all of Elsevier's more than 2600 journals, and it enables UC authors to publish articles that they can make open access, or free for anyone to read, by paying a per-article fee. Elsevier says it will discount those open-access fees, and UC says it will subsidize their authors.
UC estimates the new deal will cost its libraries' budget 7% less than what they would have paid had it extended its old contract with Elsevier, which expired in December 2018. UC paid $11 million that year. But the university's total spending on the deal, including money from outside funding sources, could be higher than that, depending on how many articles it publishes open access, Elsevier says.